Cover photo for Larry J. Swaim's Obituary
1938 Larry 2016

Larry J. Swaim

September 19, 1938 — December 9, 2016

Eben Junction

Larry J. Swaim, age 78, of Eben Junction, died Friday, December 9, 2016 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on September 19, 1938 in Mishawaka, Indiana to Virgil and Hazel (Miller) and was welcomed to the family by his older brother, Ronald.  Larry grew up and went to school in Edwardsburg, Michigan.  He met and married Gerri Hoover in 1958 and they had two wonderful boys, Mike and Mark.   As life went on, their relationship parted.  In March of 1971, Larry married Susa Barrick Grahovac who added to their blended family with three more sons, Tony, Paul, and Samuel Grahovac.  The biggest addition to their marriage that changed their lives forever was they made the Lord Jesus Christ their family’s guide to direct their family.  In 1981, Larry claimed the scripture Psalm 127 that his quiver would someday be full.  The Lord answered his prayer with a loving marriage of 45 years and 9 months, 5 sons, 17 grandkids, and soon to be 9 great-grandkids.   Larry felt that the good Lord gave him the gifts of helps.

In 1975, they moved to Eben Junction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Larry built a beautiful home on their 15-acre farmstead.  There he farmed raising many gardens and animals for 27 years.  Larry started his business, Larry’s Country Carpentry and in the early 1980’s, he spent a year building in the Cayman Islands.  In 1987, Larry went to work as a substitute bus driver and mechanic for the Superior Central Schools.  He was then hired full time and worked 14 years before retiring in 2002.  Larry was also involved in teaching CPR for the American Red Cross.  He traveled around to schools, factories, and anywhere he was needed to teach this life saving technique.  Larry taught CPR to over 200 people and he was on the ground floor of bringing first responders to Rock River Township.  He served as a first responder for many years, and in 1998, he was honored as Man of the Year in Alger County.  Larry was a member, trustee, and elder of the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham.  He loved the Lord and the men at his Wednesday night Bible study.

In 1998, they sold the farm and moved downtown to the big city of Eben.  Larry built Susa an Antique store where they had many fun years of collecting and making new friends on their venture.    Larry always prayed for direction from the Lord.  In retirement, he and Susa enjoyed traveling, but Larry loved most being in the snow in the beloved U.P.  One of the highlights of Larry’s travels, included helping Lloyd Gilbertson as a dog handler during the Yellowknife Dog Derby in Canada’s Northwest Territory.

In September, he was diagnosed with lung cancer which brought him home to his Lord and Savior.  Larry was at peace and said it was a win/win situation.  A win if he stayed, a win if he went to be with his Lord.  Larry never asked why.  He was blessed with amazing family and friends who had been so generously supportive of he and Susa during the past three months.   Larry thanked God every day for them and his hospice nurse, Julie Deisenroth of North Woods.

Larry is survived by his wife, Susa Swaim of Eben; four sons – Mike (Pam) Swaim, Mark (Heather) Swaim, Tony (Donna) Grahovac, and Samuel (Connie) Grahovac; 17 grandchildren – Christopher, Tayler, Lindsey, Eric, Andrew, Carri, Cori, Craig, Samantha, Jeff, Alex, Codey, Jesse, Bryanna, Illysa, Jay, and Raysha; and soon to be nine great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, son Paul Grahovac, and brother Ronald Swaim.

Larry’s services will be on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.  From 2:00 until 3:30 p.m., there will be visiting time at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham.  Pastor Paul Kelto will conduct Larry’s memorial service at 3:30 p.m.  From 5:00 until 7:00 p.m., there will be a potluck fellowship and celebration of Larry’s life at the Mathias Township Community Building in Trenary.  Memorials are requested to be made to the Sion Lutheran Church.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Sion Lutheran Church
N5177 Rock River Street, Chatham MI 49816

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry J. Swaim, please visit our flower store.


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